First Monday Film Archives (1996-2005)


Great Debate (2005): The Great Debate features a lively debate between Professor Charles Ogletree, founder and Executive Director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard Law School, and Ronald Cass, Co-Chairman of Committee for Justice and former Dean of Boston University School of Law.  The focus of the debate is the nomination of John J. Roberts as Chief Justice to the U.S. Supreme Court.  The Great Debate was held at Georgetown University Law Center and transmitted live via satellite to more than 100 university and college campuses nationwide on September 21, 2005, just weeks before the confirmation of Roberts as Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Just One Vote (2004):  The Supreme Court is sharply divided on countless issues ranging from women’s rights to environmental protections to civil rights. In 1994, the Court decided more cases 5-4 than at any time in history.  Narrated by Emmy-award winner Bradley WhitfordThe Supreme Court: Just One Vote is a powerful documentary highlighting the critical importance of the Supreme Court in ensuring the rights and protections of all Americans, and emphasizes the impact of a change in the make-up of the court could have on civil rights and protections guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

Packing the Courts: The Battle over President Bush’s Judicial Appointments (2003): Narrated by actor and human rights activist Mike Farrell, Packing the Courts exposes the Bush administration’s strategy of packing the courts with ultra-conservative ideologues. The film demonstrates the extent to which Bush’s nominees are far right of the mainstream and willing to roll back decades of progress on crucial rights and protections by presenting dramatic footage of debate and cross-examination in the Senate Judiciary Committee about several judicial nominees including, Fifth Circuit nominee Charles Pickering, Ninth Circuit nominee Carolyn Kuhl and eleventh Circuit nominee Bill Pryor. Packing the Courts concludes by stressing that with the Supreme Court hearing fewer cases every year, the circuit courts are often the courts of last resort in cases dealing with reproductive freedom, civil rights, worker and consumer protection and the environment, and that we must put press on the President and members of Congress to ensure fair and independent judges.

Of Rights and Wrongs (2002)

Deadly Business:  How the Gun Industry and the NRA Market Mayhem to America (2001): Deadly Business takes a new look at gun violence by revealing how the gun industry and gun lobby work together to ensure that firearms remain the least regulated and most lethal product sold in America. The film begins by exposing how an aggressive and powerful gun lobby works to ensure easy access to firearms. Deadly Business also draws powerful parallels between the marketing tactics of the gun industry and the tobacco industry, and argues that deceptive marketing, among other abusive practices, entice consumers to purchase firearms to make them feel safe. Viewers learn the results are lethal: Gun violence is one of the leading causes of injury death in America. This powerful short documentary features compelling interviews with Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL), Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY), Common Cause President Scott Harshbarger and more. This award-winning film concludes with a call for action to urge elected officials to implement common sense regulations to prevent gun violence.

America Up In Arms (2000):  Hosted by Emmy award-winning actor and activist Martin Sheen and directed by award-winning documentary filmmakers and producers Rory Kennedy and Liz Garbus, America Up In Arms chronicles the effect of gun violence in America.  This powerful short documentary shows the face of gun violence by telling the heart-breaking stories of three families who lost children to gun violence:  28-year-old homicide victim Songha Willis of Philadelphia; 15-year-old Kenzo Dix of Berkeley, California, who died in an accidental shooting; and 19-year-old Sean Woods of Houston, Texas, who committed suicide with a handgun.  America Up In Arms concludes by describing how thousands of new activists, young and more seasoned, are getting involved in organizations ranging from Young Texans Against Gun Violence and the Million Mom March to raise awareness about the need for common sense gun laws, bringing new energy, voices and ideas to efforts to end gun violence.

Bringing Justice Home (1999):  Hosted by actor and human rights activist Mike Farrell, Bringing Justice Home brings into sharp focus the impact a lack accessible and affordable housing in America.  This 25-minute documentary is a stinging critique on how the U.S. government has failed to address this complex problem and highlights stories of Americans who are forced to live in substandard, cramped and unsanitary conditions, or in make-shift structures as a result of America’s failed housing policy.  The film concludes with an inspiring story of a woman who, as a result of her newfound sense of security in a new home, was able to become a more productive member of society.

Justice for All: Bringing Human Rights Home (1998):  This feature film, produced by two-time Academy Award winning filmmaker Barbara Kopple, explores key issues raised by the UDHR—highlighting the elimination of due process safeguards which threatens the rights of both immigrants and death row prisoners.

With Liberty and Justice for All (1997):  Directed by two-time Academy Award winning filmmaker Barbara Kopple, this documentary film recounts the personal stories of two immigrants whose lives were profoundly affected by the new immigration laws. The film sets these stories in the context of the American tradition of welcoming immigrants.

Profiles in Judicial Courage (1996):  Profiles in Judicial Courage features Hon. Rosemary Barkett, Hon. William L. Dwyer, Hon. Thelton E. Henderson, and Hon. William Wayne Justice.

Fighting for Justice in the 1990s (1995):  In addition to a national telecast, First Monday 1995 included a 20-minute video produced by Abby Ginzberg, featuring a series of vignettes spotlighting lawyers who are fighting for justice in innovative ways.

Forging a New Vision of Justice” (1994):  The inaugural First Monday program featured regional symposia and a nationwide telecast addressing America’s unmet legal needs and the future of public interest law.